November 24, 2013 Subject:
The End of Mystery
Theodore White includes a strong focus on the old theme and thesis that China - and the East in general - is a mysterious place and of a mysterious civilization, culture, society. We recognize this today as racism and as explainable for its time. Since roughly 1980 China has become increasingly less mysterious as Western people, from the USA especially, interact with China on a daily basis. We see China on 24 hour news channels and can live there to work in various capacities. Many universities now have China studies programs of study that are much higher quality and scope. So a great asset of viewing this is the contrast of White's time - and for 2000 years prior to it - and our time during which China is much better known, understood, comprehended. The mysteries of China reside in the past, as this worthwhile presentation documents so very well.
February 12, 2013 Subject:
Better than the Title
A lot better than the title might let you think. Not so much "madness" but a rather unexcited and informative walk through Chinas long history. Kind of US-centric, of course, but that does not really hurt.
May 1, 2010 Subject:
US-centric view of China in 1st half of 20th century
Filled with archival film footage, this US history of China is interesting because of its 1967 perspective. Mao had just started the Cultural Revolution, the "Madness" of the title, and the film is a US attempt to explore recent history to try to understand. It is a good look at US policy toward China in the first half of the 20th Century.